Top Takeaways

Work With Dads

Top Takeaways

  • Community-based programs must understand the culture and context of correctional facilities and present documented outcomes of working with incarcerated fathers to show the benefits of fatherhood programs.
  • Practitioners working with incarcerated dads must be unflappable, patient, and firm, yet approachable.
  • Assistance with child support, education, and job training can help prepare dads for reentry.
  • When fathers have multiple children with multiple partners, focusing on one child and one mother and then gradually broadening to more children can be effective.
  • Successful strategies for father-child interaction include working with dads to write letters to their children on a regular basis, create books or handkerchief art for their children, and read a book to their child either over the phone or via audio or video recording.
  • Show fathers the value in developing a working relationship with their child’s mother, and provide them with skills to improve this relationship.
  • Work with the mother and family before a father’s release. Provide relationship skills classes for couples when possible, and link fathers to community services upon release.
  • Develop relationships with local employers to help reentry dads with employment opportunities. Counsel men to be upfront with potential employers about their criminal record.